Message of the Week

If Anyone Wishes to Be First, He Shall Be the Last of All and the Servant of All.

The Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus reminds us that success is measured by how we follow Him, not by how others think of us or how easy our lives are.

The disciples were looking out for their earthly place of importance, and in heaven as well.

Jesus, using a child as an illustration of powerlessness, tells us that serving the least among us is a start to our success.

He reminded the disciples that He would make the ultimate sacrifice, His death, for the benefit of mankind.

How do we measure the success of our lives?

 

Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091921.cfm

Who Do You Say That I Am?

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus questions His disciples about who do they say that He is.

Peter affirms that He is “the Christ”, the Savior.

But Jesus demands more than an affirmation of who He is, both from the disciples and from us.

“Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up His cross, and follow Me.

If we recognize Jesus as our Savior, must we not also do as he asks to follow Him?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091221.cfm

He Makes the Deaf Hear and the Mute Speak

The Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus’ Ministry was always about teaching and healing.

His compassion for the poor and sick was evident everywhere he went.

It is easy to derive another message from this healing.

He cures real deafness and special deafness as well.

He cures real speech impediments and failure of our speaking the truth and his message.

Can you hear and speak?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/090521.cfm

Nothing that Enters One From the Outside Can Defile That Person; the Things That Come From Within Are What Defile

The Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus tells us that insidious evil can come from within.

The heart is considered the source of human thought and emotion.   The heart is the center of our being.

The basic message is intention.  One can say “I didn’t do it”, but did you think it?

External religious practices and social niceties are not substitutes for a clean heart.

What steps should we take to purify our hearts?

 

Master, to Whom Shall We Go? You Have the Words to Eternal Life

The Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

The followers listening to Christ could not accept what He was saying, they listened with disdain & disgust.

He foretold His Ascension, indicating the body they ate would be His Resurrected Body.  It would be spiritual food, for spiritual life, now and after death.

Christ did not prompt his statement to say this was only a symbolic description, nor did he retreat from his statement.  He allowed those who wanted to leave to do so.

As a matter of faith, we face the same dilemma and choice today – lifeless symbol or real presence?

Will you see the Body of Christ shared in the Eucharist as a mere shadow of its real substance or will you choose the path of faith and commitment as Peter did?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/082221.cfm

Blessed Art Thou Among Women …

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

…. and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb Jesus

Mary was born without sin and she was not subject to total death as we know it.

She was assumed into heaven body and soul.

Mary holds a special place in our faith as the absolute model of disciple.  She has been called the first Christian.

We pray to Mary to ask her to help us in our struggles with our lives.

On this special feast of her Assumption will you bring your needs and request to her to ask for her intercession?

 

I Am the Bread That Came Down From Heaven…….

The Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

……… Whoever Eats This Bread Will Live Forever.

The Jews had trouble accepting Jesus’ words – How could He be the spiritual food come down from Heaven?

They knew His earthly Father, His mother, where He lived, what He did… He seemed like one of them.

Jesus was about to reveal one of the central mysteries of our faith to His followers.

It was a mystery so difficult to understand and accept that He would lose some of His followers that day.

Do you accept the mystery of the real presence of Jesus in the gift of the Eucharist?

What does it mean to you?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/080821.cfm

 

I Am the Bread of Life

The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

The Jews had trouble accepting Jesus’ words – How could he be the spiritual food that has come down from Heaven?

They knew His earthly father and mother, where He lives, and what He did.  He seemed like one of them.

Jesus was about to reveal one of the central mysteries of our faith to His followers.

It was a mystery so difficult to understand and accept that Jesus would lose some of His followers that day.

Do you accept the mystery of the real presence of Jesus in the gift of the Eucharist?  What does this mean to you?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/080121.cfm

 

Jesus Feeds the Multitudes

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The people were hungry for food and for the words that would give them life and hope.

The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes was a prototype or a foreshadowing of the miracle of the Eucharist.

Jesus continued to feed His people with His teachings, His love, and His giving of self as He does now with us.

The Eucharist is a great miracle, in that we receive the actual body and blood of Christ – it is the greatest gift Jesus gave us.

How do we connect our hunger for life and Jesus with the Eucharist?

Do we see the real potential it has for us?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072521.cfm

Come Away and Rest a While…. For I Have Many Things to Teach You.

The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The people were distracted and leaderless.

Jesus understood their dilemma and sought to help them cope.

He knew that they needed a new vision and a new sense of hope.

He had them settle down so that He could teach them about the hope they needed.

Business and distraction can also affect our lives.  Can we settle down long enough to hear again what Jesus has to teach us about our lives?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/071821.cfm

 

He Sent Them Out Two By Two

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Apostles were to preach repentance, drive out demons and heal the sick.

What a daunting task!

Jesus prepared them to be rejected.

We also are sent to spread the gospel in whatever way we can, in whatever time, place, or group that we find ourselves in.  We, too, at times will be rejected.

We need to trust in God’s plan for us.  Can we balance this trust with our own fear of rejection?

 

Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/071121.cfm

A Prophet Is Not Without Honor Except In His Native Place

The Fourteenth Sunday Ordinary Time

Jesus was rejected by many in His own synagogue in Nazareth.

Their expectation of a Messiah did not permit them to accept a different plan from God, that is Jesus.

How hard it can sometimes be, to get out of our own way and see the brilliance of God’s plan.

Jesus stresses the importance of faith to open one’s self to recognize something really different to be open to his healing and message.

Have we too placed limits on Jesus because of our perceptions of who He is and what He can do?

 

Do Not Be Afraid, Just Have Faith

The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

With Jesus all things are possible.

He even has power over life and death.  He can also help with the trials and sicknesses of life.

Jesus’ ministry on Earth was to bring healing and a new trust in God as a beacon of hope.

He is always so very close to us that he can detect our reaching out to Him in need.

Can you trust in Jesus enough to open up your heart to Him and ask Him for what you need?

 

Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062721.cfm

Do You Not Yet Have Faith?

The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus calmed the sea and assured the disciples that they were safe.

He challenged them to have faith because they had seen what He did and could do.

Now they saw that even the wind and the sea obeyed His commands.

Do you not believe that Jesus can calm our reaction to the sometimes violent storms in our lives.

Are we prepared to also remember who He is and what He promised us?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062021.cfm

 

The Kingdom of God is the Flowering of God’s Reign On Earth

The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

This is a mysterious metaphor of how God acts on Earth now and in the future.

It seems to start small like a mustard seed but it will eventually grow to overshadow all else.

The kingdom of God will yield fruit according to God’s plan.

The kingdom is not only in the future but is also unfolding now.

We are included in the kingdom.  We are, indeed, challenged to support its spread.

Are we watching and praying for guidance?

 

Readings:   https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061321.cfm

 

Do Everything For the Glory of God

The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus healed the leper out of compassion.

He will treat us accordingly.

There is much healing and forgiveness in this world.

We must do what we can in our interaction with those around us.

We can imitate Christ by responding as we can.

Will you do this?

Jesus Heals

The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

He constantly healed the bodies and souls of those who asked.

He healed physical ailments and domination of the spirit by demons.

He saw the need for healing and spiritual nourishment in the world around him in His time.

Jesus is still with us and invites us to a closeness with Him and healing of our bodies and souls.

Pray that His spirit comes to us and heals us and those for whom we pray.

He frequently said, “your faith has healed you”.   Will we place our trust in Him?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/020721.cfm

The Kingdom of God Is At Hand

The Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

What has been prophesied has been fulfilled.

The Good News is at hand.

Jesus preached the Gospel of redemption and salvation.

The Kingdom is close for all. Repent and believe.

Are you ready?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/012421.cfm

Speak Lord, For Your Servant is Listening

The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Prophet Samuel listened.

The disciples also listened to the Lord Jesus.

We begin a new liturgical year with the stories of our origin.

We will hear the teaching of Jesus and see the example of the disciples and can respond as Samuel did.

Are we listening?

Amen I Say to You, Whatever You Did For the Least Of the Brothers of Mine, You Did For Me.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe King of the Universe

The Lord rules the earth yet  He comes to us through the least among us.

He shows us that His kingdom is a reality; not just an idea.

We are offered entrance to the realm through our care of those in need: the hungry, the sick, the naked, the impoverished, the imprisoned, and the unborn.

Such care and outreach is work toward the gift of paradise.

Is your focus aligned with the Lord’s?

Can you recognize His brothers among you?

 

 

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112220.cfm

 

For Everyone Who Has, More Will Be Given and He Will Grow Rich..

The Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Lord God has created us to do His will in this life and to join Him in eternal life.

We have been given a rich faith and it affords us spiritual wealth.

We are expected to live that faith and to bear fruit by sharing it with others.

Our riches will be beyond imagination if we do this.

If we do nothing, neither we nor our world will be enriched.

Are you up to the task?                                                                    Will you fulfill the mission Jesus asks of you?

 

Therefore, Stay Awake, For You Know Neither the Day Nor the Hour. 

The Thirty-Second Sunday Ordinary Time

Procrastination can be bad in all parts of our lives.

Paying attention to everything except God can be particularly dangerous.

Everyday is a chance to start anew and to prepare for our encounter with God.

He has invited us to the feast but we need to respond to Him.

Do you have a pen and paper, or can you just talk to Him?

 

Rejoice and Be Glad for Your Reward Will be Great in Heaven

The Solemnity of All Saints

Our future depends upon our present attitude and actions.

Jesus’ teachings turn traditional thinking upside down.

We are to choose paths of lowliness, not self-aggrandizement.

Choose paths of mercy, peace, and righteousness.

Rejoice and be glad!

Teacher, Which Commandment is the Greatest?

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

 

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/102520.cfm

 

As Christians, We Will Feel Tension Between Church and State

The Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We may have to make difficult choices.

Turning to God, seeking His will can help us.

His laws are written on our hearts.

The Holy Spirit is His voice within us.

Can we find the key to settle our inner unrest?

 

 

Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/101820.cfm

 

Many Are Invited But Few Are Chosen

The Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are invited to be in God’s kingdom.

The invitation requires a response.

Rejection has consequences.

Even when we come into our faith by tradition or family inheritance we are expected to adhere to the guidance of the faith!

How did we come into our faith and how prepared are we for full participation?

 

That Stone the Builders Rejected Has Become the Cornerstone

The Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Vineyard is the life we have been entrusted with.

Jesus came to teach us how to live that life and to save us from the sin that can destroy it.

Many have rejected Jesus’ teaching and his gift of life to them.

The Gospel challenges us to rethink the life we have been given.

What does this mean for you?

 

Go Out and Work in the Vineyard Today

The Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Vineyard is our life lived in fidelity to the will of God.

It is also attention to our specific mission in life, be it family, work, or worship.

Some say yes, but really don’t live it according to what they are supposed to do.

Yet others, after initial resistance, come around to doing as they should.

Did you go and work in the vineyard today?

 

Thus, The Last Will Be First,
and The First Will Be Last

The Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

God’s generosity is infinite.

When we open ourselves to him we are always welcome….. no matter when.

He asked us to be diligent in doing his will no matter how long it takes.  Keep working in the vineyard.

Our reward in heaven is based on the goodness toward us, not on our work.

Listen and ask if he is calling you to participate in a new way.

Are you ready?

 

… How Often Should I Forgive? “I Say to You, Not Seven Times But Seventy-Seven Times”

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The message is clear.  God’s mercy is infinite.

As followers of Jesus, our forgiveness of others must also be near infinite.

And our repentance must also be honest.

We do not have a God who treats measure for measure.  He is not transactional.

Our common way of thinking about forgiveness must sometimes change.

Who do we need to forgive?

 

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091320.cfm